10 Things You Didn’t Know about American Flyers

It’s hard to know if anyone really remembers this movie. It’s also hard to think of cycling as an intense sport but when you really look at it the difficulty becomes a little clearer. The two brothers in this film that attempted to best the top cyclists in the world across the Rockies have a lot grit to them, but unfortunately their family also has a genetic disposition towards cerebral aneurysms, which ends affecting the oldest brother, played by Kevin Costner, during one part of the race. When his younger brother attempts to bow out to take care of him however Costner urges him to go on and win, which he eventually does. Don’t say cycling is hard until you’ve done it at these speeds.

In fact, just don’t say anything isn’t hard unless you’re naturally gifted, it might be safer that way.

10. One of the extras actually fell over a 1,000 foot drop and was only saved by a tree that snagged his bike.

He didn’t suffer any major injuries thankfully but was very likely shaken up and feeling extremely grateful for the tree in his path.

9. The woman that plays Becky is a vegan in real life.

In the film she’s shown trying to resist eating meat. It probably wasn’t that hard to make this act work to her advantage.

8. The horse riders had to pull back a bit so that the cyclists could beat them.

A horse running full out can easily beat a cyclist most times so the horses had to be reined in just a bit so that the cyclist could win.

7. The team that Muzzin is riding for was an actual team.

The ‘7-Eleven’ team raced in the Tour de France in the 1980’s and 90’s and would eventually become the Motorola Team.

6. Muzzin’s nickname was actually the nickname of a real racer.

The was the nickname of Eddie Merckx in real life. He was a five-time Tour de France champion. How he got the nickname is another story.

5. At one point when Marcus stops his watch at 11:34 it’s interesting if you turn the watch upside down it reads hell. 

This was just an interesting quirk that had to be mentioned since they were in a race dubbed The Hell of the West.

4. Naming the dog Eddie had significant meaning. 

Eddie Borysewicz was the US cycling foundation’s first full-time coach and made some serious contributions to the cycling world.

3. There are at least a few real cyclists in this movie.

You had to expect that not everyone would be an extra and some would be in the movie to give it some authenticity.

2. Cerebral brain aneurysms being passed along a family line are fairly rare.

The chances of someone developing a brain aneurysm as a genetically inherited malady don’t generally go over 20 percent.

1. Marcus would have needed to get medical attention immediately following his aneurysm. 

The chances of surviving such an aneurysm are about 44 percent but the idea is still to get a person to a doctor after having one, as their chances survival tend to go up when being admitted to a hospital.

This was kind of a fun movie but was somehow easily forgotten.


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